Back to School Shopping Savings Tips

by kdizzle
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An unzipped pencil bag with school supplies strewn about and an apple in the corner.

The fun-filled days of summer go fast, and a new school year is right around the corner. It’s time to gear up for “back to school” and all that comes with it. And that, of course, means back-to-school shopping. That sounds fun! Or maybe not. According to Zulily’s 2023 Back-to-School Pressures and Stressors Report, back-to-school shopping can be a real pain point as parents and kids disagree on necessities versus splurges and about sticking to a budget. Here are some ways to save money that are sure to lower the back-to-school buying stress and put you on the savvy shopper Dean’s list.

It All Adds Up

Back-to-school shopping can be taxing, especially if you are shopping for multiple children of different ages with different retail needs. In order to stay on-track, it’s best to start with a budget and a list. Psst …. Need help creating a budget? Check out our post on creating a budget.  After that, making a list is a snap. Lists will help you stay focused while you are getting everything you need and avoiding impulse purchases.    

Pro tip: Put one “splurge” item per child on the list – something you know your child really wants. But keep it a secret until the right time (maybe when you need to win a negotiation over something else) so you can pivot like a pro and make everyone feel like a winner! 

In addition, it’s good to have a shopping plan. It takes a lot of energy to get all the kids in the car and drive from store to store. Picking a “one-stop” shop can help, as can online resources. Lots of online brands cater to back-to-school shopping. Others, like TeacherLists, for example, allow teachers to upload their supply lists for their specific classes and schools. Parents can then shop for just the right supplies online from Target, Amazon, Walmart and more.  

Unlock Some Savings With Coupons

Taking advantage of coupons, rebate sites and cashback apps can be a real help … and your kid will never know! If you’re shopping online, why not use a deal finder, like Rakuten or RetailMeNot to apply coupon codes and earn cashback rewards while you shop? Apps like these test and apply codes that give you cash back on purchases from various stores, including back-to-school retail favorites.

Ooooh! There’s An App For That!

Yes, we love that fresh notebook, but buying supplies can be spendy! Maybe there’s an App for that? Check out Rocketbook. Rocketbook is a notebook where you can write notes (like a normal notebook), but kids can use the app to upload those notes to Google Drive or another file-saving storage to save or share with others. Even better, after you write your notes, you can wipe the notebook clean after they have been digitally saved. More long-term savings, and no more “uh-oh!! My dog ate my notes!”

The Early Bird Gets The Worm

Staring early is essential to maintaining a no-stress shopping experience and to ensure that you can find the exact items you want. Demand for school supplies usually spikes around August each year. So don’t wait until the last minute to shop for those classroom necessities.

It’s a special time of year filled with excitement and anticipation. And a smart, budget-friendly plan can help your shopping worries so that you can focus on the joy of going back to school!

Need some more tips on creating a budget-friendly back-to-school budget? Check out our post on creating a budget to start your back-to-school shopping season off to a great start!

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